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Full text of "Genealogy of one branch of the Webster family, 1600 to 1900"

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GENEALOGY 



..OF.... 



ONE BRANCH 



OF THE 



WEBSTER FAMILY. 



1600 TO 1900. 



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GENEALOGY 



....OF. 



ONE BRANCH 



OF THE 



WEBSTER FAMILY. 



1600 TO 1900. 



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NOV 2 5 1952 a 7 



PREFACE. 



Having during the last twenty-five years collected from 
various sources considerable information in regard to the 
Litchfield branch of the Webster family, I thought best to 
have it printed in order to better preserve and transmit to 
future generations this record of descent from the years 1635 
to the present time. The source of my information in most 

cases is given in the following pages. 

A. W. WEBSTER. 
New Haven, Ct., 1900. 



JOHN WEBSTER. 

The Fifth Colonial Governor of Connecticut. 

JOHN WEBSTER and his wife Agnes came to this country 
from Warwickshire, England, in the Spring of the year 
1635, and settled at Cambridge, Mass. During the year a 
company of about one hundred was organized for the purpose 
of traveling across the country to found a colony on the banks 
of the Connecticut river. The following account of this jour- 
ney, taken from Hollister's History of Connecticut, is quite 
interesting, when we stop and think that the same distance 
can be traveled now in three or four hours : 

Hollister says, " About the beginning of June, 1636, Mr. 
Hooker, Mr. Stone, Mr. Webster, and about one hundred men, 
women and children, set out upon the long-contemplated 
journey. Over mountains, through swamps, across rivers, 
fording some, crossing others upon rudely constructed rafts, 
with the compass to point out their irregular way, slowly they 
moved westward, driving their flocks and herds before them, 
the strong supporting the weak, the old caring for the young ; 
with hearts cheerful as the month slowly they m ved on. Mrs. 
Hooker was ill and was borne upon a litter. A stately, well 
ordered journey it was, for gentlemen of fortune and rank 
were of the company, and ladies who had been delicately bred 
and who had known little of trial or hardship until now. * * * 
At the end of about two weeks they reached the land almost 
fabulous to them — the valley of the Connecticut." 

Quoting further from Hollister's history he says: "The 
first English planters of Connecticut were of no vulgar origin. 
* * * The planters, the substantial land holders who began to 
plant in the wilderness, sprung from the better classes, and a 
large proportion of them were from the landed gentry of Eng- 
land." Again he says : " I believe that there is hardly a man 
living whose descent can be traced to the early planters of Con- 
necticut, who will not be found to be derived through one 
branch or another of his pedigree, from the families who 



helped to frame the British Constitution , who elevated by slow 
degrees the common law, who advocated the doctrines of both 
with their tongues and pens or defended them with their 
swords." 

In those early days of the colony labor and toil was looked 
upon with the greatest respect. Hollister says, "Governor 
Webster and Governor Wells, if they did not labor with their 
own hands, taught their sons to toil." 

Benjamin Trumbull in his history of Connecticut says, " For 
twenty years Mr. John Webster had been annually chosen into 
the magistracy of Connecticut, being elected Governor in 1656. 
At the .election in Hartford, May 17th, 1655, Thomas Wells 
was elected Governor and John Webster Deputy Governor. 
At the election in 1656 John Webster was elected Governor 
and Thomas Wells Deputy Governor. At the election in 1657 
John Winthrop was elected Governor, Thomas Wells Deputy 
Governor, and John Webster Chief Magistrate. Mr. Webster 
removed to Hadley, Mass., in 1659." 

J. Hammond Trumbull, L. L. D., in his Memorial History 
of Hartford County, says : Hadley, Mass., which then included 
the present towns of Hadley, Amherst, Granby, Hatfield and 
South Hadley, was a direct outgrowth from Hartford, Conn., 
assisted by Wethersfield. It was started by a strong body of 
able men, who had become uneasy with the long debate and 
strife in the First church in Hartford. Mr. Webster and Mr. 
Russell, of Wethersfield, appear to have been the leaders in 
the settlement of Hadley, Mass. * * * * John Webster was 
an original proprietor of Hartford, and his home lot, in 1639, 
was on the east side of the street now called Governor 
Street. Mr. Webster was one of the committee who for the 
first time sat with the Court of Magistrates, in 1637. * * * He 
was one of the committee who framed the code of criminal 
laws for the colony in 1642, was a commissioner for the united 
colonies in 1654, was an influential member in the church in 
Hartford, and was one of the leaders of the Hadley company, 
moving to Hadley in 1659, where he died, April 5th, 1661." 

The following article, signed " Historious," taken from the 
Hartford Courant of October 25th, 1845, will make a fitting 
ending to this historical sketch of the life of John Webster : 



JOHN WEBSTER. 

There is rust, much of it generally, on the hinges of time. 
Sometimes it yields to the file of the antiquarian, and the gates 
of the past swing wide open, and we see clearly. Sometimes 
this rust defies the file, and labor retreats defeated and disap- 
pointed. Sometimes we find but a crevice, opened out from 
the rubbish of years, from which to catch glimpses of 
what was and has been done. It is through such a crevice, 
reader, now, that we open on the biographic dwelling of the 
fifth Governor of Connecticut, John Webster. Small is the 
light to shine in upon its apartments, and disclose their. con- 
formation and their contents. Still this light will enable us 
to see something, shades of what was if not the substance ; 
figures at least of some of life's furniture, if not the furniture 
itself. Perhaps the household place, the heart of the indweller, 
may reflect somewhat to our eyes. Let us take a peep ! 

John Webster was one of the original settlers and founders 
of Connecticut. He was from Warwickshire in England, and 
his name appears among our earliest records, dignified with 
the then imposing prefix of Mr. — a prefix with which only ten 
gentlemen besides himself, out of the one hundred and fifty- 
three original settlers, were honored. The ordinary title of 
address at this period was Goodman, or Good wife, or Good- 
woman, often contracted into Goody, or Neighbor. Clergy- 
men, magistrates, doctors, schoolmasters, those who being 
freemen had received a second degree at college, and after a 
while eminent merchants, military captains, and captains of 
vessels, and sometimes the mates of the vessels — these were all 
addressed as Mr. and their wives each as Mrs., but many years 
elapsed ere the distinction of rank and title to which the first 
settlers were accustomed in the parent country disappeared 
from their colonial life. Their chief men, who emigrated with 
means and rank of distinction in England, were looked up to 
by the people in general with something of awe and without 
familiarity — a circumstance which at that period does not seem 
in the least to have impaired their influence. Now-a-days 
these distinctions won't do ; everybody claims a respectful 
handle to his name, and properly so if he behaves himself. 



Esquires and Colonels are as thick as blackberries, and if 
greatness ever attempts to walk on stilts it is sure, in our po- 
litical world, to tumble. 

Mr. Webster was very early elevated to official position in 
the Colony. He was elected magistrate in 1637, and with the 
exception of a single year, was annually elected to this office 
till 1660. In 1654 he was one of the Commissioners of the 
United Colonies, and in 1655 was Deputy Governor and in 
1656 Governor of the Colony. 

During this whole period he was active in the administra- 
tion of the government, and associated as adviser and counsel- 
lor in many important movements. The duties to which in 
former articles we have called attention, those of deciding 
controversies about bounds, or arbitrating on lands, of dis- 
tributing estates, of auditing the accounts of the treasury, and 
of answering petitions, Mr. Webster, prior to his election as 
Governor, is frequently directed by the General Court to dis- 
charge. He was one of the committee appointed in 1639 to 
confer with New Haven in relation to the murderous attacks 
from the Indians at Middletown, and he bore the banner of 
war against the haughty and insulting Sowheag when our sis- 
ter of Quinnipiac turned her face from it, and her milder coun- 
sel prevailed. The New England Congress employed him in 
1649 "to set forth on the towns " soldiers and ammunition for 
an expedition against the Indians. For similar expeditions 
he was at other times chosen " to press men and ammunition," 
or appointed one of the advisers with whom the constables of 
each town were " to take advise in the pressing of men." In 
1645 he was appointed by the General Court with others to 
examine and arrange "all particular and several charges of 
the late war ' ' with the Narragansetts ' ' and for the support of 
Uncas," of which charges they directed to cause the constables 
of Hartford to bring in a full account. When it was deter- 
mined to provide a frigate of ten or twelve guns to defend the 
coast of Long Island against the Dutch and Ninigrate, he was 
one of the Committee " to treat with the owners of the frigate, 
and agree with them for the use of the same." In the matter 
of the agreement with Mr. Fenwick and the impost duty at 
the mouth of the river he was frequently called to act, and also 



to license the exportation of provisions in times of scarcity. 
He made journeys as magistrate to the seaside and elsewhere 
to administer justice. He was employed in drawing up cor- 
respondence with friends of the colony in England. He sur- 
veyed the highway between Hartford and Windsor and over- 
looked its " amendment." He was one of the committee who 
purchased and disposed of Simsbury. At times he aided in 
drawing up abstracts of grievances to be presented to the New 
England Congress for its deliberation. In 1640 he acted on a 
committee curious and peculiar for the indication it gives of 
the times as any which we have noticed. He was appointed 
with Mr. Phelps "to consult with the elders of both planta- 
tions ' ' to prepare instructions against the next General Court 
for the punishment of the sin of lying, " which," says the 
Record, " begins to be practiced by many people in this com- 
monwealth." What a singular tribute to the virtue of the 
time, that the sin of lying did not begin in Connecticut till 
1640 ! Five years of uninterrupted truth-telling. When shall 
be found elsewhere a page of history halcyon as this ! 

As a member of the New England Congress of 1654, Mr. 
Webster was called to delibrate on a new expedition against 
Ninigrate, upon the difficulties of New Haven with Deleware 
Bay, upon plans for " the better passage of the gospel among 
the Indians," for the education of some of them at Cambridge 
College, and for the extension and repair of the buildings of 
this institution. What a singular union of objects in relation 
to the same class of persons ! In one hand the sword, in the 
other the Bible and the arts of peace ! The Indian is at the 
same time to be attacked, to be Christianized, and to be made 
a ' ' scoller of " at Cambridge ! To several letters and sets of 
instructions for these purposes the name of John Webster is in 
every instance signed, and the correspondence with the Swed- 
ish Governor of Delaware Bay supposes him and his colleagues 
to be scholars themselves, for the letter addressed to them is 
written in Latin. 

Mr. Webster as Governor — but before we speak particularly 
of his administration, it is well, as we have space in this biog- 
raphy for the purpose, to give the reader an exact idea of this 
office as it was under the Constitution of 1639, differing as it 



8 

did very materially from this office now. In the first place 
then the incumbent must have been a magistrate, and was to 
be a freeman, and always a member of some " appointed con- 
gregation.' ' His election was by ballot, by the greatest num- 
ber of votes, given on the second Thursday in April in each 
year by all who had been admitted freemen and had taken the 
oath of fidelity, and "did cohabit with this jurisdiction." 
The convention for this purpose was held at Hartford, and the 
General Court had a session at the same time and chose one 
or more persons to tell the voters who were sworn "to be 
faithful therein." Immediately upon his election, which was 
for one year, and which until 1660 could not be made of the 
same person but once in two years, the Governor appeared 
before the General Assembly, and there took the following 
solemn and characteristic oath : 

"I, A. B., being now chosen to be Governor within this 
jurisdiction, for the year ensuing, and until a new one be 
chosen, do swear by the great and dreadful name of the ever 
living God to promote the public good and peace of the same, 
according to the best of my skill, and also will maintain all 
lawful privileges of this Commonwealth, and also that all 
wholesome laws that are or shall be made by lawful authority 
here established be duly executed, according to the rule of 
Gods word — so help me God in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ." 

This imposing oath states generally the power and duties of 
the Governor, viz : To promote the public good, maintain all 
lawful privileges, and duly execute the laws. In addition to 
these it was his duty particularly by himself or his secretary, 
to issue his summons to the constables Of each town for the 
calling of the two General Assemblies. Upon special occa- 
sions, with the advice and special consent of the major part of 
the magistrates, he was to summon them within fourteen days 
warning, or if urgent necessity required upon a shorter notice, 
stating the reasons in his warrant. When met it was his duty 
to preside over them, convening as all the branches did in one 
body, and he had power " to order the Court to give liberty of 
speech, and to silence unreasonable and disorderly speakings, 
and to put all things to vote, and in case the vote was equal 



to give himself a casting vote." The Governor was also at 
the same time a Magistrate, and in this capacity with his col- 
leagues held Particular Courts, over which he presided, now 
at one place and now at another, having power to administer 
justice according to the rule of his oath established, and " for 
want thereof according to the word of God." In addition to 
this the Governor was most generally appointed to serve as 
one of the Commissioners of the United Colonies, and to act 
upon important committees, and to manage the chief corres- 
pondence of the Colony, and to act as principal adviser in all 
emergencies. For these various and numerous duties he re- 
ceived no pecuniary compensation till the year 1647 when "by 
leason of his many weighty occasions, expenses and 
chardges," it was ordered that there should be " yearly al- 
lowed to that place ^30," which was the first salary granted 
to any civil officer in the service of the Colony. 

Thus then the Governor of our state in old times was at 
once Chief Executive Office, Speaker of the House, Chief Jus- 
tice, Chief Scribe, Chief Magistrate, and Chief Counsellor ! 
What would be thought now of such a union of powers and 
duties? Constitutional liberty in modern times rests chiefly 
on the division and separation of legislative, judicial and ex- 
ecutive authority, Let one intrude for an instant on either of 
the others, and freedom flutters as if it had received a wound, 
and the pillars of government seem toppling over an abyss, 
and the eloquence of a whole nation bursts forth in alarm. 
We are now in civil and political matters all machinery, all 
checks and balances, all caution, all distrust. The age of 
confidence has wholly passed. That was the iron age of our 
ancestors. It was the age of Connecticut under its first Civil 
Constitution. It was the age of Haynes, and Hopkins, and 
Wyllys, and Wells, and it was the age also of John Webster, 
the subject of our present biography, to whom we are now 
prepared to return, with your means reader, for appreciating 
him improved, we trust, by this short digression on the office 
to which, in 1656, he was called by the united vote of the 
Freemen . 

The year of his administration was one uncommonly free 
from Indian disturbances. With the exception of an act 



IO 



which was passed forbidding the sale to any Indian of any 
horse or mare, or boat or rigging, its legislation has no con- 
nection with tomahawks and scalping knives, but relates to 
matters purely civil, among which is addition to regulations 
about the sale of spirituous liquors, and playing with dice or 
cards, and about swine >l from whose unruliness damage doth 
accrue," we notice some curious orders with' regard to bntch 
ers and '" the mvsterv of tannins: M as it is called in the records 
and one order which shows that whatever it may have been 
with the sin of lying, the sin of theft, and the theft of wolves, 
had made some progress in the colony, for it is ordered " that 
what person soever, either Indians, or English, shall take any 
wolves in, whereby they would defraud the right owner of 
their due from the town or county, every such offender to pay 
ios. to the owner of the pit, or to be whipped on their naked 
bodies not exceeding six stripes." The general quiet that 
prevailed during the year of Governor Webster's administra- 
tion is fully indicated by the appointment this year of a 
thanksgiving, to be celebrated, says the record, on account of 
" the general concurrences of many mercies." From all this 
we may conclude that Governor Webster discharged all his 
duties to the full acceptance of the colony, and when we re- 
flect on the extent of responsibility attached to his office, as 
already described, it will justify the belief that he was a man 
of high personal integrity and prudence. 

There was another matter, however, which came before this 
General Court, in which Governor Webster was peculiarly ac- 
tive, and which was the foundation of his subsequent relin- 
quishment of Hartford as his place of residence — we refer to 
the ecclesiastical difference of the period. For several years 
these had been ripening, till at last not only the Church at 
Hartford, in which they had their origin, but the whole colony 
and the whole of New England was torn and distracted by 
their agitation. They turned chiefly on the points of baptism, 
church membership, on the form of church government, 
whether Congregational or Presbyterian, consociated or syn- 
odical, and on the right of members of a parish who were not 
at the same time members in full communion with the church 
to have a voice in the election of ministers and in the general 



II 

management of the church. Governor Webster, in company 
with elder Wm. Goodwin, Mr. Cullick, and a number of 
others who were known at this period as Withdrawers, advo- 
cated the Congregational form and the strictest construction 
of doctrines, denying baptism to any except the children of 
church members in full communion, and excluding all such 
church members from participating in the choice of a minister 
and in the general regulation of the church. In this he stood 
opposed to Mr. Stone, the minister, to a majority of the con- 
gregation, and to the General Court. He was always, how- 
ever, though firm, courteous and sincere in his opposition, the 
belief being deepened in his mind that he was sustaining the 
primitive faith and purity of the churches, and the unchanging 
ecclesiastical practice of the First Settlers. Accordingly in 
debates which occurred in the General Court during the year 
in which he was Governor, we find him taking part, and after 
it had been decided that certain ecclesiastical questions should 
be debated at Boston, and provision had been made for the 
"comely and honorable attendance' of the Elders going 
there, and when it was proposed to call an additional religious 
Council at Hartford, we find it entered on record "the Gov- 
ernor did personally express himself desiring that the old sad 
differences in the Church of Christ might be healed, but with- 
held his vote." He seems to have had little faith in the de- 
cisions of Synods and Councils, and not without reason in this 
instance, since in spite of the many that were convened the 
breach in the church at Hartford was not healed, but grew 
wider and wider till 1659, about two years after he had ceased 
to be Governor, though he still held the office of Assistant, 
Governor Webster, with fifty-eight other persons from Hart- 
ford and Wethersfield, removed to Hadley in Massachusetts. 

The agreement for their removal, for "transplanting them- 
selves and families to the plantation purchased on the east side 
of the River Connecticut, beside Northampton," dated Hart- 
ford, April 18th, 1659, at the house of Goodman Ward, is on 
record at Hadley, and the name of Webster stands at the head 
of the list. The tract of land which they purchased included 
the present towns of Hadley, Amherst, South Hadley and 
Granby, on the east side of the Connecticut River, and Hat- 



12 

field and a part of Williamsburgh on the west side. Governor 
Webster went early in May, 1659, to assist in preparing the 
settlement, and lodged at Northampton. He was skilled in 
the management of town business, as is evident from his fre- 
quent connection with it while living in Hartford, having 
been here frequently appointed to divide and allot lands, and 
supervise the erection of bridges and mills, and the building 
of galleries and a porch for the meeting house, and the repair 
of roads. One of his first employments at Hadley seems to 
have been in laying out new roads, streets and home lots. 
His own home lot there was on the west side of the street 
about eight}- rods north of the old road to Northampton, and 
next north of that of his friend, Elder Win. Goodwin. Soon 
after he first reached Northampton he was taken severely sick, 
and in anticipation of death made his will, which is dated the 
twenty-fifth of June, 1659, and is recorded in the Probate 
Court of Hampshire County. "I, John Webster," he says in 
his solemn opening paragraph, " late of Hartford in the juris- 
diction of Connecticut, being weak of body, yet sound of mind, 
imprimis commit my soule into the hands of the Almighty and 
Most Merciful, hoping to be saved by the alone merits of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, being washed with His blood, and clothed 
with His righteousness, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost — 
Amen. My body I also bequeath to the earth, to be interred 
with comely burial (if at this time I be taken out of this world) 
in some part of the new plantation on the east side of the river 
against Northampton." From this sickness, however, he re- 
covered, but not to survive long, for on the fifth of April, 
1 66 1, after active exertion in behalf of the settlement, and the 
discharge, in company with John Pynchon and Samuel Chapin, 
of the duties of a judge in courts held alternately at Northamp- 
ton and Springfield, he expired, his being the second death in 
the new plantation. He gave directions in his will, it may 
have been noticed, for his burial at Hadley, and there, un- 
doubtedly, on the neck of the peninsula formed by the winding 
Connecticut, and overlooking the magnificent gorge between 
Holyoke and Mount Tom, the remains of the fifth governor of 
Connecticut now rests. The affection of one of his descend- 
ants, Dr. Noah Webster, has marked the spot with a monu- 



13 

ment, which tells the bystanders that it was erected "to the 
memory of John Webster, Esq., one of the first settlers of 
Hartford in Connecticut, who was many years a magistrate or 
assistant, and afterwards Deputy Governor and Governor of 
that Colony, and in 1659, with his three sons, Robert, William 
and Thomas, associated with others in the purchase and settle- 
ment of Hadley, where he died in 1665." [The date of his 
death here is an error, as Dr. Webster was subsequently con- 
vinced, and should be 1661, as appears from the records at 
Hadley.] 

Governor Webster had four sons and three daughters, of 
whom Robert, the eldest, the principal devisee and sole execu- 
tor of his will, and commended in his will for " his discretion 
and faithfulness," settled ultimately upon the old homestead 
in Hartford, where he left by his wife Susannah, a sister of 
Governor Robert Treat, five sons and four daughters, the pro- 
genitors of a numerous family of Websters in this town and in 
East Hartford. Robert lived for many years in Middletown, 
and frequently represented this town in the General Court. 
His will, 1676, is on our Probate Records, as is also that of 
his wife Susannah, 1698. He was one of our selectmen in 
1672. The late venerable Dr. Noah Webster, of New Haven, 
was a lineal descendant, through this Robert, from Governor 
Webster, and took much pains to compile a genealogical table 
of the family, particularly of his own branch, a copy of which 
is now lodged among the archives of the Connecticut His- 
torical Society. From this, as well as from other papers po- 
litely loaned us by Win. G. Webster. Esq., and received from 
the hands of the Rev. Dr. Bacon of New Haven, from whom a 
valuable memoir of Dr. Webster may be soon expected, it ap- 
pears that the Governor's son, Matthew, settled in Farming- 
ton, and died there leaving a son John — that the Governor's 
son William, who with his brother Thomas received his 
father's lands at Hadley, married Mary Reeves in 167 1, re- 
sided in Hadley and died there in 1687 or '88, probably with- 
out children — that the Governor's son Thomas married Abigail 
Alexander of Northampton and settled ultimately in North- 
field, Mass., from which place he was frequently compelled to 
flee on account of Indian disturbances, but where he died in 



14 

1 686, leaving several children and that of the Governor's 
daughters, Anne married John Marsh of Hadley, Elizabeth 
married William Markham of the same town, and Mary mar- 
ried a Mr. Hunt, the ancestors of the Hunts in Northampton, 
and became, by the marriage of her daughter Mary with John 
Ingersoll of Westfield, one of the ancestors of the Ingersolls in 
Connecticut. For all these children, as well as for several 
grandchildren, Governor Webster made specific provision in 
his will, leaving to some pecuniary legacies varying from ten 
shillings to seventy pounds, and to others lands and houses as 
well as money, and to his wife Agnes "' a bed and comely fur- 
niture for the same," as also " his house and lands at Hart- 
ford, all the profits of the same during her natural life." He 
seems to have possessed quite a handsome estate. 

The family of the Websters, descended from the Governor, 
is very numerous and is now widely scattered — a thousand 
currents from a parent lake. Those interested in their ances- 
tor, being in Hartford or visiting our city, should not fail to 
take a look at the spot where, in his new and "wilderness 
world," John Webster first and for many years lived — down 
in the street we have heretofore christined at Governor's 
Quarter, the present Cole street. 

Hereupon the east side, upon a home lot of two acres, 
nearly upon the spot on which now stands the barn of Peter 
D. Stillman, Esq., was the dwelling house of the old Gov- 
ernor. His next neighbor on the south was Governor Welles 
' — his next neighbor on the west was Governor Wyllys — his 
two nearest neighbors on the north, save one, was Governors 
Hopkins and Haynes. On the east the wigwams of a tribe of 
peaceful Indians crowded the meadow. The Great Oak 
" gnarled and unwedgeable," whose destiny to preserve the 
Royal Parchment delineating those rights which he assisted to 
establish was then to him unknown, he could see from his 
front door. The pinnaces that now and then bore down the 
Long River for trade with the Bay the skins of beaver and 
otter and the fox, and those which glide with Masons lusty 
and memorable freight of war when the light of the Pequot 
race went out, and those which ever and anon, with corn and 
powder and balls for the Fort at Saybrook, spread a spare can- 



i5 

vass to the valley winds, these were all in sight to him as he 
stood upon his stone-step gazing east. And here upon the 
green sward " round about," fed his milch cows and cropped 
old Billy, his horse, ready for the pillion, and gambolled his 
goats and kids. And here too 

" When nature pleased, for life itself was new, 
And the heart promised what the fancy drew," 

gambolled also our ancestors perhaps Visitant, the Governor's 
children, sunshine in each little breast, the heart's light laugh- 
ter on their lips spite of the news that then often ' ' chained 
their wondering ears ' of infant innocence a prey to the 
tomahawk. Can you not picture the family, reader? But we 
must leave them. Ere we do though, let us see them as the 
day is over and they are preparing "to go to bed." Burns 
will tells us how they appeared : 

" The cheerful supper done, wi' serious face, 

They turned round the ingle formed a circle wide ; 

The sire turned oer wi' patriarchal grace, 
The big ha"-bible, 'ance his father's pride ; 

Those strains that 'ance did sweet in Zion glide, 
He waled a portion wi' judicious care, 

And ' Let us worship God ! ' he said, wi' solemn air." 

HlSTORIOUS. 



from "Goodwin's Serological notes" and Other Sources. 

FIRST GENERATION. 

*John Webster, one of the first settlers of Hartford, Ct., and 
Hadley, Mass., and fifth Governor of the Colony of Connecti- 
cut % % * Hon. John Webster died at Hadley, Mass., 
April 5th, 1661. 



SECOND GENERATION. 

Children of John and Agnes Webster (named in Mr. Webs- 
ter's will) were Mathew, William, Thomas, >:< Robert, Anne, 
Elizabeth and Mary. 



A * denotes the direct line of descent. 



i6 

THIRD GENERATION. 

:;; Robert Webster was married to Susannah Treat, daughter 
of Richard Treat, Esq., of Wethersfield, Ct. They settled at 
Middletown, Ct., and at the organization of the town, in 1651, 
Robert Webster was chosen Recorder. In 1660 they removed 
to Hartford, where Robert Webster died in 1676. His widow 
died in 1705. Their children were: 

John Webster, born Nov. 10th, 1653. 

Sarah Webster, born June 30th, 1655. 

^Jonathan Webster, born Jan. 9th, 1657. 

Susanah Webster, born Oct. 25th, 1659. 

Their other children were Samuel, Joseph, William and Mary. 



FOURTH GENERATION. 

-Jonathan Webster of Hartford, Ct., was twice married; 
first to Dorcas Hopkins of Hartford ; his second wife was Mary 
Judd, daughter of Thomas Judd of Farmington, Ct. Children 
by his first wife were : 

Jonathan, born March 18th, 1682. 

Susannah, born April 25th, 1686. 

Mary, born Sept. 29th, 1688. 

Mehitable, born March 8th, 1691. 

Stephen, born Jan. 21st, 1693. 

By his second wife he had one child -only : 

^Benjamin Webster, born Aug. 9th, 1698. 



FIFTH GENERATION. 
Deacon Benjamin Webster settled in Litchfield, Ct., and 
married Elizabeth Peck, daughter of Deacon Paul Peck. 
Their children were : 

James, born June 2(1, 1734. 
Elijah, born Dec. 28th, 1732. 
Benjamin, born Dec. 8th, 1736. 
Stephen, born May 21st, 1739. 
Elizabeth, born Jan. 23d, 1 741 . 
Charles, born March 9th, 1743. 
John, born April 3d, 1747. 
Deacon Benjamin Webster died July 10th, 1755. 

A * ■ Mine of descent . 



17 

SIXTH GENERATION. 

^Stephen Webster married Hanor Kilbourn, daughter of 
James Kilbourn. Their children were : 
Sarah, born September 8th, 1765. 
^Truman, born Jan. 12th, 1770. 
Orange, born Dec. 28th, 1780. 

SEVENTH GENERATION. 

*Truman Webster married Diadema San ford, only child of 
Stephen Sanford of Northfield, Ct., Oct. 8th, 1795. They 
settled at Litchfield, where two sons were born. In the fall 
of 1799 they went to Northfield on a visit where their two 
boys were taken sick and died and were buried in Northfield, 
one Nov. 2d, the other Nov. 4th, 1799. Mr. Webster then 
moved to Northfield, where six children were born as 'follows : 

*David Sanford Webster, born May 30th, 1800. 

Sophia Webster, born May 10th, 1802. 

Lyman Webster, born Nov. 7th, 1805. 

Abigal Webster, born July 10th, 1808. 

Annie Webster, born April 12th, 1811. 

Sally Webster, born April nth, 18 14. 

Sophia married Titus Turner. 

Lyman married Elizabeth Smith. 

Abigal married Tertius Turner. 

Annie married Abner G. Fox. 

Sally married Aaron W. Fox. 

Truman Webster died in Northfield, Sept. 17th, 1844, aged 
74. His wife, Diana Sanford Webster, died Aug. 10th, 1839. 



EIGHTH GENERATION. 

*David Sanford Webster was married to Clarissa Wattles, 
daughter of Joseph and Lydia Wattles of Bethelem, Ct., June 
15th, 1825. They settled in Bethelem where two children 
were born and died in infancy ; after that they had four chil- 
dren born to them, viz : 

Henrietta Louise Webster, born June nth, 1830. 

Truman Monroe Webster, born March 13th, 1833. 

Erwin Washington Webster, born April 9th, 1835. 

Albert William Webster, born Jan. 21st, 1838. 

A * denotes the direct line of descent, 



r8 

In the year 1837 Mr. Webster bought a large farm at Pleas- 
ant Valley, Ct., where the family lived until 1850, when they 
moved to Waterbury, Ct. In the fall of 1867 Mr. Webster 
went to Virginia where he was taken sick and died. 

[Note — Clarissa Wattles Webster was born in Hebron, Ct., 
May 1 ith, 1800. and died at Waterbury, Ct., Jan. 15th, 1873, 
and was buried in Riverside Cemetery.] 



NINTH GENERATION. 

Henrietta Louise Webster was married October 9th, 1848, 
to Rev. Apollos Phelp Viets, who was then settled at Canton, 
Ct. Afterwards they moved to Milford, Ct., and later to Han- 
cock, Mass. After the death of Mrs. Webster (Mrs. Viets 1 
mother; they located at Waterbury, Ct., where they now live. 
They had six children born to them as follows : 

Elsworth Phelph Viets, born Nov. 12th, 1850. (Drowned 
at Ansonia, Ct., July 28th, 1867 

Wards worth B. Viets, born Nov. 18th, 1854. 

John C. Viets, born Nov. 18th, 1856. 

Mary Louise Viets, born June 16th, 1858. 

Beulah Ruth Viets, born June nth, 1861. 1 Died Sept. 
22d, 1861.! 

Henrietta C. Viets, born Nov. 28th, 1863. 

Mary Louise Viets was married to W r illiam L. Horton, July 
3d, 1884. 



Truman M. Webster was a mason builder, located at Water- 
bury, Conn. In the year of 1866 Mr. Webster stepped on a 
nail which pierced his shoe, making a slight w r ound on his 
heel, which brought on an attack of lock-jaw, causing his 
untimely death November 23d, 1866. On October 15th, 1855, 
Mr. Webster was married to Miss Sarah White of Durham, 
Ct. Three children was born to them as follows : 

Eugene A. Webster, born July 16th, 1856. 

Arthur T. Webster, born August 13. 1838. 

Carrie- B. Webster, born March 14, i860. 

Eugene A. Webster, now one of the prominent druggists of 
Springfield, Mass.. was married to Miss Nora Mead of New- 
Haven, Ct. They have no children. 



19 

Arthur T. Webster, now one of the leading druggists of 
Waterbury, Ct., was married to Addie Talmadge of Middle- 
town, N. Y., Sept. 2d, 1880. They have one daughter. 

Carrie B. Webster was married to E. Darwin Ketcham, Jan. 
10th, 1882. They have three children. 



Erwin W. Webster commenced his business life as clerk in 
a store. In the year 1854 ne accepted a position as clerk at 
the station of the Naugatuck Railroad Company's office at 
Waterbury, Ct., where he remained until 1857, when he was 
appointed station agent at Ansonia, Ct., a position which he 
still holds. 

Mr . Webster has been elected to various offices in the gift 
of the town of Derby, having been selectman of the town for 
eleven years, being first selectman and town agent most of the 
time. After Ansonia became a city he was elected mayor for 
two years. In 1896 and 1897 he was elected to represent the 
town of Ansonia in the state legislature, where he served two 
terms. 

Mr. Webster has been twice married ; first to Miss Jennie 
Miller of Woodbridge, Ct., who died August 15th, 1858, leav- 
ing no children. January 1st, 1861, Mr. Webster was married 
to Miss Sarah Rogers, daughter of Orlando and Therisa 
Rodgers of Millerton , N. Y. One child was born to them, 
Alcine Virginia, born April 12th, 1863, and married to Frank 
Hotchkiss, of Ansonia, April 25th, 1887. November 7th, 
1889, Mrs Hotchkiss died, leaving one daughter, Alcine 
Webster Hotchkiss, who was born January 4th, 1889. 



Albert W. Webster learned the machinist trade, at which he 
worked in Waterbury and New York until 1864, when he 
located at Ansonia and carried on the manufacture of metal 
goods until 1868, when he sold his factory and started a dry 
goods store. In 1873 ne s °ld his store and entered into part- 
nership with Plummer & Galpin, dealers in clothing, boots 
and shoes, hats, caps, dry goods, etc. In 1876 Mr. Plummer 
retired from the firm and Galpin & Webster continued the 
business until 1886, when they sold out to W. A. Fellows 
&Co. 



20 

In 1888 Mr. Webster moved to New Haven, Ct., and 
founded the Elm City Shoe Store, the business in which he is 
engaged at the present time. 

Mr. Webster was twice married, first on June 13th, 1865, to 
Eliza Mardenbrough Peck, only child of Eleazer and Louise 
M. Peck of Ansonia, Ct. Three children were born to them 
as follows : 

Louise Mardenbrough, born March 5th, 1866. 

William Wattles and Susie, twins, born March 16, 1869. 

Louise Mardenbrough was married lo John Disosway, of 
Staten Island, N. Y. They have one daughter. 

William Wattles Webster died April 10th, 1896, at Brook- 
lyn, N. Y. 

Susie, his twin sister, died in infancy. 

Mrs. Webster died August 10th, 1882, and was buried in 
Ansonia. 

On November 14th, 1887, Mr. Webster was married the sec- 
ond time to Jennie P. Horton, daughter of Joseph S. and 
Annie Eliza Horton, of Port Ewen on the Hudson. Two 
children were born to them in New Haven, Ct. : 

Albert Raymond Webster, born Sept. 29th, 1889. 

Annie Clarissa Webster, born Feb. 21st, 1894. 

Both are pupils in the Webster school. 

The Webster School District was given the name to honor 
Noah Webster, L.L. D., a lineal descendant of Governor John 
Webster. 

It is interesting to note that, assuming John Webster was 
born before the year 1600 (which is probable), the ten genera- 
tions herein enumerated cover a period of three hundred years, 
making an average of thirty years to a generation, the time 
usually allotted. 

It would be very interesting and probably not very difficult 
for some descendant of Governor John W T ebster to visit War- 
wickshire, England, and there trace his (John Webster's) an- 
cestry back for ten or twenty generations.